Moja Moja Life

Misaki Kawai for Kids

Free entry

NGV International

Ground Level

19 Dec 20 – 18 Apr 21

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Japanese artist Misaki Kawai presents Moja Moja Life: Misaki Kawai for Kids, an indoor playground featuring a display of colourful, furry sculptures of dogs and a puppet studio. With a love of mimetic word pairings spoken in the Japanese language, such as moja moja which means ‘hairy’, and an interest in children’s creative play and making, Misaki shares her playful approach to creating art and her affinity for fluffy dogs with NGV’s young visitors.

Misaki describes her style of making art as heta-uma. This Japanese term translates to ‘bad but good’, and prioritises a good idea over skill or perfection. In Japan, heta-uma imagery can be seen in advertising and packaging as well as pictures in newspapers. Today Misaki exhibits all over the world, delighting visitors with her bold and colourful paintings, sculptures and drawings. Misaki invites you to visit Moja Moja Life, her first installation in Australia.

Part of NGV Triennial 2020

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Champions Paula Fox AO & Fox Family Foundation, Major Partner Chadstone – The Fashion Capital and Triennial Lead Supporter Neilson Foundation for their support of Moja Moja Life: Misaki Kawai for Kids.

Download sensory map

This map of Moja Moja Life: Misaki Kawai for Kids shows areas of moving image, colour and sound stimuli, as well as seating. It may be useful for anyone planning to visit the exhibition, in particular those with sensory sensitivities, autism or disability.



Moja Moja Land

In this space, meet lots of different hairy dog sculptures. There is Arty, a huge dog covered in hot pink fur and Poofy wearing a bright green fluffy coat. Children can get active and step on lots of paw prints to trigger puppy sound effects and animations of Misaki’s doggy friends – Potato, Raisin, Snowy, Max and Bertie.


Misaki played with puppets when she was a child. Her mother was a member of a puppet group and with her brother she would make a theatre set by turning a table on its side to present their own puppet shows. At Piko Piko Station, children can create a puppet show video with Misaki’s puppets using a multimedia interactive featuring six different stories. Come to the exhibition, play with a puppet and create your version of the tale and share with family and friends.


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To coincide with the exhibition, the NGV has collaborated with Misaki Kawai on the children’s publication Moja Moja Means Hairy – a little book full of playful words to read to babies and toddlers – along with an exciting new retail collection of products designed by the artist.

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